Business owners have many things they need to think about on a daily basis. They could be anything from managing their eCommerce to outsourcing their payroll or IT infrastructure. But what if someone decides to take an advanced degree course alongside their job? Would it be possible to become a student whilst still managing their business effectively? If they were successful it could further their career, but if not it could spell disaster.

Perhaps you have been wondering whether it’s possible to study and manage at the same time and if so, read on because this article will answer all your questions.

What Is An Advanced Degree?

An advanced degree is what you receive after completing a bachelor’s degree. Common examples include the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Ph.D., and Juris Doctorate, JD.

After earning a master’s degree in business administration or law, you could go on to specialize in certain areas such as accounting or real estate. This is why many people pursue further education in relation to their working life.

Yes If You Research Before You Decide

Your Job

It is possible for many people to take an advanced degree at the same time as being a business owner. You’d need to study your business plan, including the goals and timescales. Assess whether they would be impeded or enhanced if you resumed your studies. It may be that some business activities would need to be put on hold or allowed a longer time to come to fruition.

Ask yourself which studies would be beneficial for your career growth and whether taking these classes would affect your future earnings. You’d need to be certain you could not only maintain your current job but would also have the capacity to get involved in company projects related to things like marketing and expansion.

The Course

You need to do your research before you decide what is the best field of study to pursue. There are many different courses and the ideal choice will depend on what type of company or organization you own.

The internet is a place from which you should base a lot of your preliminary inquiries. If you want to be a change management postgraduate you could speak to a student enrolment advisor, read student reviews, and check the entry requirements. Other relevant considerations would be the study intake calendar, fees, and units per week. These specialist websites can also fill you in on things like the course duration, career options, and other related courses you could consider.

Yes If You Have The Time

Your Job

Conduct a feasibility study and look at how many hours you spend weekly on your job. Check your calendar in terms of future events and projects etc. to see what impact they will have on your working hours. It’s vital that you will have sufficient time to keep the business running. If you are grumpy, tired, absent, or unapproachable your colleagues will become unhappy and the business could suffer as a result.

It may be that you can run your business part-time while you take your advanced degree. If not, the only option may be to hire a manager or business partner who can run things when you are unavailable. Perhaps you can spend more time working from home rather than at the workplace. This would reduce your travel time and free up new time for study.

The Course

It’s absolutely vital that you know what this course is going to require of you. Ask yourself some questions, such as:

  • How many hours a week must I spend studying?
  • Will I need to travel?
  • Will I have extra time available to study before my exams?
  • Will there be other activities besides study (e.g. internships, trips, special events)

Laptop with notebook on table

Yes If You Have The Resources

Your Job

Look at your personal budget and check whether you can afford to pay the course fees. If your advanced degree is designed to improve your current job, find out whether some of the company funds can help with the expenses. If you have sufficient staff resources, you may be able to delegate some of your work so that you have more time to study. Don’t give your tasks to an under-qualified person because they may get things wrong and create more work for you.

There may be some aspects of your role that you could outsource. Many external companies provide expert help with things like HR, marketing, and IT. You would need to check the company could afford to pay for these services, but it could be a wise choice and a sound investment. Some advantages to outsourcing are :

  • You can spend more time on the key aspects of your role
  • It frees up your team to concentrate on other tasks as well

The Course

It’s not just the tuition fees etc. that you need to think about. You also need to have somewhere to study, and this could be at work, home, or both. You may be able to use your office at certain times, using a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign. Your work computer may be a great tool to use for your coursework. You will need somewhere at home that is quiet and that has a decent workstation. If you don’t have a quality computer table and chair, it could give you neck, shoulder, back, and wrist issues.

Yes If You Have Time Management Skills

You will have to be very disciplined with your time if you’re going to juggle so many responsibilities at the same time. You may intend to study evenings and weekends, although it’s inevitable this will spill over into other times. Make sure you establish a good work-life balance, e.g. your partner, family responsibilities, sleep, vacations, free time.

Conduct a detailed study regarding both your job, your proposed course and the personal impact it would make. If you choose wisely, it could take your career up a level and create lasting benefits for both you and your family.